SWISS QUAKERS

Resources and background materials

help in our community discussions about racism, diversity, white fragility, and privilege - to add resources, add it to the blog comments
Geneva MM Spiritual Deepening sessions for the month of June 2020 will take place in virtual space on the theme of racism, diversity, white fragility, and privilege.

On Wednesday evenings we will hold meeting for worship beginning at 18.30 CET, followed by the SD session from 19.00 CET, finishing by 20.00 CET.  If you would like to join us, please contact us so we can send you the link.

Some of the topics we have planned to cover are: Quaker history, deep diversity and white fragility, diversity in the Society of Friends, and privilege.  

Every week at the end of our sessions, we will share actions and resources tied to these topics.

This is not an exhaustive list of topics, nor will we discuss a given topic solely on a particular week.  These topics are given as a way to organize our exploration at this time. 

Quakerspeak is a project of Friends Journal which releases videos weekly.  You can access all the videos and find out how to support their work on their website.

White Privilege Test

Implicit Bias

The Implicit association test is also available in a version for Switzerland in French and German.

How privileged are you?

Quaker History

Diversity and Whiteness

The Society of Friends and Race

Privilege

A fundamental belief in the equality of all people has led Quakers to campaign actively against racism in many parts of the world….this article lists many Friends involved in anti-racism work.

 

William Penn, 1644-1718

made a fair treaty in 1682 with the native peoples at Shackamaxon ….

new settlers, mostly non Quakers, arrived and wrested land from the Native Americans.  As Quakers became a minority, relations with the native peoples became more hostile.

The governor and his council declared war on the Delaware and Shawnee tribes in 1756. Quakers withdrew from government, ending Penn’s “holy experiment” in statecraft.

John Woolman, 1720-1772

central figure of 18th Century Quaker faith and social reform, he was an abolitionist, reformer, writer and minister.  He was very influential in the anti-slavery movement in America.

The Journal of John Woolman – autobiography

A mystic who lived an activist life.

Recognized that slavery and racism makes victims of everyone.  He wanted to liberate the oppressor (the slave holder) and the oppressed (the slaves).

Native Americans and Quakers

in the 1860s Quakers wanted to prevent wholesale extermination of tribes not yet moved onto reservations.  The war was on to move them onto reservations.  The Quakers wanted to bring those wars to an end.

…Friends supported the creation of reservations where Native people were required to give up their own cultures to live in a Christian European culture.

In this Atlantic article The Case for Reparations by Ta-Nehisi Coates mentions that in order to join the Society, Friends were required to pay reparations to their freed slaves.  

Slavery in the Quaker World by Katherine Gerbner in Friends Journal interview on the publication of her book Christian Slavery: Conversion and Race in the Protestant Atlantic World (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018)

The Mind of the Village, Hidden Brain podcast
What’s my Complicity interview with Robin DiAngelo from Teaching Tolerance
“What is White Privilege, Really” by Cory Collins in Tolerance.org magazine, 2018
“How structural racism works,” Tricia Rose at Brown University
Nim Njuguna reflects on the question: ‘How does it feel to be the only Black person at a weekend event?’  This article is available via  subscription to the Friend.

Video Webinar: Knowing ourselves: Undoing racism as spiritual practice from American Friends Service Committee 2018

about the ministry of Vanessa Julye
Fit for Freedom, Not for Friendship – conversation with Donna McDaniel and Vanessa Julye co-authors of Fit for Freedom, Not for Friendship:  Quakers, African Americanas and the Myth of Racial Justice, on Northern Spirit Radio
Spiritual Education:  Eldering, Inclusion, Racism, and More – resource for meetings from Friends General Conference
Race and Anti-Racism, March 2017 edition of the Friends Journal – various articles

Understanding Racism and Privilege among Friends queries from Friends General Conference FGConnections 2002

White Privilege Conference held by Friends General Conference
Should I give up on white people?”  by Jeff Kisling of Iowa Yearly Meeting, 2018
“Sharing impact for liberation” from the Fearless Heart, answering the question, “Why do I have to be the one to educate white people about privilege?”

Facing Power and Privilege – Epistle from BYM 2019

You’re not a Bad Person:  How Facing Privilege Can be Liberating from Miki Kashtan, the Fearless Heart

To White People who Want to be one of the Good Ones by Maeve Higgins in the New York Times  

Additional Readings, Quotes, and Queries

  • “Wealth is attended with power by which bargains and proceedings contrary to universal righteousness are supported and here, oppression carried on with worldly policy and order, clothes itself with the name of justice and becomes like a seed of discord in the soul and as a spirit which wanders from the pure habitation prevails so the seeds of war swell and sprout and grow and become strong until much fruit is ripened… Oh that we who declare against wars and acknowledge our trust to be in God only may walk in the light and therein examine our foundation and motives in holding great estates May we look upon our treasures and the furniture of our houses and the garments in which we array ourselves and try whether the seeds of war have nourishment in these our possessions or not.”                            –   John Woolman.
  • Do you search out whatever in your own way of life may contain the seeds of war? Do you stand firm in our testimony, even when others commit or prepare to commit acts of violence, yet always remember that they too are children of God?  Do you bring into God’s light those emotions, attitudes and prejudices in yourself which lie at the root of destructive conflict, acknowledging your need for forgiveness and grace?                                               – Quaker Faith & Practice, UK
  • “Why Black Lives Matter is a Global Issue” by Dean Bowen in globalcitizen.org
  • Race and Policing in England and Wales by Runnymede Foundation
  • Contemplations on Race with Richard Rohr